Campaigners are deeply concerned that the launch

first_imgCampaigners are “deeply concerned” that the launch of a new parliamentary inquiry into the educational support provided for disabled children and young people failed to mention inclusive education.The inquiry by the Commons education select committee will investigate the impact of major reforms to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system that were introduced four years ago through the Children and Families Act.But The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) says the announcement of the committee’s inquiry – headed by disabled Tory MP and former education minister Robert Halfon (pictured, left) – made no mention of inclusive education.ALLFIE linked this with the Conservative party’s long-standing commitment to “end the bias towards the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream schools”.In 2015, a year after the act was passed, the party boasted in its 2015 general election manifesto of how it had “created 2,200 more special schools places through our free schools programme”.Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s director, said she was “deeply concerned, frustrated and angry” at the failure to mention inclusive education in the inquiry launch, which she said was not an accident or “ignorance” but a deliberate attempt to “avoid the issue”.She said: “It is disingenuous of Halfon to have side-stepped the issue.”She said the government was called out on its lack of progress on inclusive education last August by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD), so the failure to mention inclusion was “not about ignorance, it is about actively avoiding the issue”.Flood said the Children and Families Act was part of a “perfect storm” of measures that were harming inclusive education, which included “hugely damaging cuts to local authority SEND support services”, and an increase in the powers of schools to exclude pupils.She said: “This is a perfect storm of policy and law dealing with the government’s ideological position of reversing the bias towards inclusive education.”She said it was “absolutely extraordinary” that the education committee had made no reference to the concluding observations made by the CRPD last year after it had examined the UK government’s implementation of the UN disability convention.CRPD was highly critical of the UK government’s approach to inclusive education, and the “persistence of a dual education system” that segregates increasing numbers of disabled children in special schools.CRPD called instead for a “coherent strategy” on “increasing and improving inclusive education”, which would include raising awareness of – and support for – inclusive education among parents of disabled children.The government has a commitment to build the capacity of mainstream schools to educate disabled children through the UN convention, said Flood.She said ALLFIE will be making these points to the committee “in the strongest terms”.One of the areas the education committee’s inquiry will examine is the act’s replacement of statements of special educational needs with new education, health and care plans (EHCPs), which last from birth to the age of 25 and set out all the support a family should receive.Local authorities in England had until this month to move all disabled children eligible for support from special educational needs (SEN) statements to new EHCPs.But Labour warned in last year’s general election manifesto for disabled people that the EHCP assessments were “being used to restrict access to support” for disabled children and young people.And in December, the education watchdog Ofsted warned that some parents were being asked to educate their disabled children at home because their schools were claiming they could not meet their needs.That report said that the proportion of pupils with an SEN statement or an EHCP attending a state-funded special school, rather than mainstream provision, had risen from 40 per cent in 2010 to 45 per cent of pupils.After the act’s introduction, ALLFIE warned that it had “thrown open a whole new door to segregation” because it weakened disabled children’s right to inclusion in a mainstream school.The education select committee will also investigate the level of funding for SEND.After the act was passed in 2014, the National Union of Teachers warned that the new SEND measures were “simply a cover for cost-cutting”.The inquiry will also look at how well the education, health and social care sectors have been co-operating.The education committee said the intention of the Children and Families Act had been to offer simpler, improved and consistent help for children and young people with SEND, while the government claimed the changes would give families greater choice in decisions.But the committee now wants to review the success of those reforms, how they have been implemented, and the impact they are having on disabled children and young people.Halfon said: “It has been four years since major SEND reforms were introduced and it’s important we examine whether the government’s stated ambitions for simpler, improved and consistent help for children and young people with SEND have been met.“There are rising concerns about the quality and access to SEN provision which the committee… will want to explore in this inquiry.“The committee’s current inquiry into alternative provision has heard considerable evidence that children with special educational needs are disproportionately excluded from school and over-represented in alternative provision.“During the course of our quality of apprenticeships and skills training inquiry we’ve also heard that with young people with SEN have faced significant barriers in accessing apprenticeships.”He added: “The 2014 act extended provision to young people up to the age of 25 and the committee is particularly keen to hear evidence about whether there is the right support available to enable young people to access appropriate post-18 opportunities such as studying at further education colleges and undertaking apprenticeships.”The deadline for submitting evidence to the inquiry is 14 June.last_img read more

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ADE Gardner says Saints need to learn the lessons

first_imgADE Gardner says Saints need to learn the lessons of Friday’s loss to Catalan but move on and put things right this weekend.The winger watched the game from the stands as Royce Simmons rotated his squad and witnessed the last gasp converted try that brought the Club’s first loss of the season.“It was difficult to watch,” he admitted, “not because of the last few seconds that seemed like ten minutes but because you want to play every game.“It’s good that we have a good squad this season and Royce can leave players out – it means those players who don’t play work harder for next week.“It takes a little getting used to. A couple of years back the wingers were me and Franny (Francis Meli) and there wasn’t much competition. Last season you didn’t know who would be fit sometimes a couple of days before a match but now you have players fighting for a spot and you have to be on your game every game.“Personally I think it is a good thing as it is pushing me to work harder.”It is likely Ade will be back in the side that faces Huddersfield this weekend and the Giants are already showing signs of being a forced to be reckoned with again this season.“They’re a handy side aren’t they? They have a quick back line and we will need to be on our mettle. We go there confident we can do a job. Yes we lost on Friday but that game has now gone. We have looked unplayable at times but we aren’t putting a full 80 minutes together. It is important we perform for 80 minutes.“We’ve conceded 70 points in our last two games and we are working on fixing that up but it isn’t something we are dwelling on.“It is our whole game. There were some things in attack we didn’t do right too and that meant we gave a team like Catalan too much ball. If you do that, then it’s tough to defend.”last_img read more

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SAINTS secured their fifth win in a row as they ov

first_imgSAINTS secured their fifth win in a row as they overcame a stubborn Wakefield 26-12.They ran in five tries in a performance that was high on effort, graft and superb defence – especially when down to 12 men.Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook had received ten minutes in the second half as the Wildcats began to get on top.But Jonny Lomax pulled off a wonder tackle to deny a certain score and then had a hand in the eventual winner.Before then, Saints were good value for their 16-6 lead at the break.Tries from Anthony Laffranchi, Adam Swift and Sia Soliola underlined their dominance before Reece Lynne fired home a top class reply.In the second half, Lomax dove on Tommy Makinson’s chip before LMS was sinbinned after his side were warned for persistent offside.Kyle Amor replied but Lomax and Hohaia had other ideas as they ensured Saints consolidated fifth spot on Super League.Results like this are always based on good foundations and Nathan Brown’s side got off to a cracking start when the home side had to drop out after they made a mess of Jonny Lomax’ kick off.And within two tackles Jon Wilkin found Anthony Laffranchi on his shoulder and he stretched out for his eighth of the season.Lomax with the conversion.Stu Howarth’s scampering run and Wilkin’s kick then forced another drop out – and Saints duly profited once more.Willie Manu was then held up before Francis Meli displayed great footwork to draw in the defence and put Adam Swift over for his twelfth in the Red V.Wakefield got back into the game – in terms of pressure anyway – as Tim Smith began to exert his authority.He produced a couple of nice kicks to give the home side territory and Swift had to be sharp to stop a certain score.Saints almost went further ahead when Tommy Makinson broke the line and found Jordan Turner. But as the centre was heading into touch he threw his pass inside and it was collected by a very happy defence.Sia Soliola – in the 17 in place of Greg Richards – made his welcome return from injury on 26 minutes and the first thing he did was drive Saints to within inches.His second touch was even better too – taking the great work of Hohaia and Josh Jones around the ruck and converting it into four points!Lomax tagging on the extras for 16-0.Alex Walmsley was held up over the line shortly afterwards before Wakefield finally forced a drop out and some possession.Soliola mopped up a poor pass though and Saints repelled borders.Wakefield did eventually respond though and it was a right cracker. Saints lacked a bit of togetherness on their right hand side and Reece Lyne undid the defence, at dummy half, to fly in from distance.Lee Smith making it a ten point game from an acute angle and giving the Wildcats hope at half time.Saints defended an early cross field kick before increasing the lead with a fantastic try.They were too strong down the right hand side, Makinson chipped through and Lomax dove on it just as it was going dead.Wakefield then entered their best period but couldn’t get over the line.Likewise Saints pushed it when the home side knocked on but couldn’t convert a fantastic Adam Swift break.But four penalties in a row handed the Wildcats the impetus as the game and then LMS was sinbinned as Saints were warned for the final time.And Kyle Amor took full advantage before Lee Smith tagged on his second conversion.It was an eight point game and with the referee pinging Saints back something had to give.Thankfully, it wasn’t the visitors’ resolve.TP offloaded in the centre to put Lomax in the clear and he found Hohaia in support to get in under the sticks.Lomax adding his third conversion of the afternoon.Wakefield almost scored with less than 100 seconds in the match but Ben Cockayne just couldn’t pull in a great chip over.Match Summary:Wildcats: Tries: Lynne, AmorGoals: L. Smith (2 from 2)Saints: Tries: Laffranchi, Swift, Soliola, Lomax, HohaiaGoals: Lomax (3 from 5)Penalties:Wildcats: 9Saints: 3HT: 16-6FT: 26-12REF: James ChildATT: 7985Teams:Wildcats:1. Richard Mathers; 28. Liam Kay, 3. Dean Collis, 20. Reece Lyne, 5. Ben Cockayne; 4. Lee Smith, 7. Tim Smith; 8. Justin Poore, 9. Paul Aiton, 15. Kyle Amor, 12. Danny Kirmond, 13. Danny Washbrook, 32. Taulima Tautai.Subs: 10. Andy Raleigh, 11. Ali Lauitiiti, 16. Oliver Wilkes, 26. Bobbie Goulding.Saints:7. Jonny Lomax; 21. Tom Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Francis Meli, 26. Adam Swift; 12. Jon Wilkin, 6. Lance Hohaia; 11. Tony Puletua, 36. Stuart Howarth, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 19. Josh Jones, 13. Willie Manu, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.Subs: 1. Paul Wellens, 4. Sia Soliola, 25. Alex Walmsley, 27. Anthony Walker.#saintsheartbeatlast_img read more

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ALEX Walmsley is only too aware of the task that f

first_imgALEX Walmsley is only too aware of the task that faces Saints this Friday if they want to retain their Super League crown.Leeds Rhinos lie between the Champions and a successive date with destiny at Old Trafford.“There’s no bigger task facing us this week,” he said. “They’re coming off the back of winning the League Leaders’ Shield at Huddersfield – in the last minute – and will be full of confidence as a result.“They have quality across the board and are the team of the year for sure. They play really well and are effective too.“Adam Cuthbertson offloads, the backs play off that… then you have Zak Hardaker and Kallum Watkins. They have some real quality there.“The personal battle with Jamie Peacock will be a good one. We haven’t got a bad pack ourselves too with great backs – but it will be in the middle where it is won.“Headingley is a great stadium and the atmosphere is always on point. There will be a lot of emotion in the air too. We need to turn up and put in a performance befitting of Champions to get back to Old Trafford. We are looking forward to that challenge.“There’s no additional motivation required for this one. It is a semi-final at Leeds. If you’re not up for that then you’re not in the right sport. There’s no need for big speeches; we know what our role is and what this game means to the club.“We are motivated and fired up.”Walmsley has had a stellar season in the Red Vee – and his return to the side, if he shakes off an ankle injury – will be huge for the Saints.He won the Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Foundation Members Player of the Year in Saints End of Season Awards, been nominated for Man of Steel, made more metres than anyone else and capped all that with his first induction into the Dream Team.“I am absolutely made up about that to be honest,” he continued. “If you think of the quality of player you are up against then I feel really honoured.“There are a lot of good props around that it makes this even more special. I am very proud of this.”Tickets for Friday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

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